Women Supporting Women: Moving Forward Together


Free Livestream: August 25th, 2 p.m. ET

It’s well documented that women have been bearing the brunt of Covid-19.

Women make up the majority of frontline healthcare workers, primary caregivers of children and the elderly, and workers in the service industry, resulting in 55% of unemployed workers vs 13% unemployment rate for men (April, 2020, Bureau of Labor Statistics). Domestic violence is at a dangerous level due to the restriction in movement.

It’s a time that women especially need support– in the form of resources, solutions and an empathetic ear – from other women who understand.  Yet research shows this may not be the case.  A 2016  study from She Speaks reported that 54% of women say women are supportive of other women sometimes, but not often.

Perhaps it’s because they are too busy, overwhelmed or simply don’t know how to support others.

CommPRO invites women leaders and their allies to learn how to put into action a simple plan for women to support women and change the narrative. We need an antidote to help women get through the next wave of this pandemic, leading into  the fall and winter until a vaccine can protect us all.

A creative, and very simple solution began five months ago when the pandemic first hit the U.S. A meetup called Women Supporting Women evolved from a virtual initiative at GWU – Center for Excellence in Public Leadership.  It brought together a geographically diverse group of women, meeting one hour each week, facilitated by Leslie Grossman, faculty director of GWU’s Executive Women’s Leadership Program. The women formed a bond supporting one another in personal, business, creative and community endeavors, and most of all, provided emotional support during a most trying time. This was not a networking group, or a business or mastermind group or even a happy hour.  It was unique.  It was focused on women supporting women at the most challenging time most of us have faced in our lifetime.

Join the founders and members of this group to discover how women throughout the world can create their own Women Supporting Women group, a safe place to share what is going on in their lives – emotionally, spiritually, business-wise, familially and more.  It’s a place to share ideas and opinions; a kind, authentic space; a place to share ideas; a place to laugh and renew; a space where we encourage others and hear their stories.

As we continue to reinvent daily life and find reassurance in connections with our friends and family during these unprecedented times, have you also explored some of the unexpected benefits of connecting outside your normal circles? Join us for a lively discussion about a geographically diverse group of women who came together virtually and have formed a bond supporting one another in personal, business, creative and community endeavors. Share your stories and explore ways to encourage others to Find Your Links. The group found that finding something more than business professional connections; that we need emotional support, too. Start enjoying the benefits of women supporting women across the globe.


Janet C. Salazar

Janet C. Salazar is a social innovator, human potential activist, serial entrepreneur, speaker, writer, humanitarian and a global leadership strategist. Her fascination and energy is focused on the intersection and convergence of leadership, innovation, investment, partnerships, inclusion and philanthropy for equitable economies and social good. 

Janet is the Executive Chairman and President, Chief and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Permanent Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at Foundation for the Support of the United Nations (FSUN). Appointed in 2006, Janet has built a solid ecosystem of deep connections and influencers in the global diplomatic community, and continues to be a strong voice for public-private partnerships inside the United Nations. 

Her commitment to influencing leadership decisions to foster strong partnerships have led to many tangible collaborations globally. Janet is widely known for bringing the business perspective inside the UN by convening global fora and dialogues around global issues in partnership with UN entities, UN Missions and Fortune 500 companies.  

Janet is Chairman and CEO of Salazar Global Group (SGG), A Holding Company with subsidiaries in consulting, development, advisory, green technologies, health solutions and systems, distribution and licensing, capital fundraising, and impact investment. She is the CEO and Founder of IMPACT Leadership 21™, a global business platform providing leadership solutions and world class training on building inclusive and sustainable economies.  

As a sought-after public-private partnerships specialist, and a Certified Executive Master Coach, Janet is advisor to international entities, CEOs and influencers on inclusion, leadership, impact investment and philanthropy.

Janet is a partner at Undercurrent, a global organizational design, process and change consultancy. Undercurrent serves a new breed of leaders who feel a profound responsibility to confront global crises with their organizations and the passion of their their people — answering the call to transform their businesses into a greater force for good and disrupt the old rules of capitalism.

Janet is the creator of the innovative dialogue series, Conversations With Men™, the groundbreaking executive forum created to engage men in leadership roles to accelerate women’s leadership at the top and achieving gender parity. She created Conversations With Men™ One on One: Navigating Gender Dialogue in a Woman’s World, an executive coaching program for male leaders on how to effectively navigate gender-related challenges in today’s increasingly diverse work place.

A writer by heart, Janet is currently working on her first book project, collaborating with some of the most brilliant minds and thought leaders in the world. Janet  is above all a passionate advocate and defender of the right to freedom in all forms. 


Leslie Grossman, Faculty Director, Executive Women’s Leadership Program, The George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership, Executive Leadership Coach

Leslie Grossman’s personal vision is a world where there is gender equity at the highest leadership roles of all organizations. As an executive leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker and workshop leader, Leslie devotes all her work to achieving this purpose. 

Leslie created and leads the Executive Women’s Leadership Program as Faculty Director and Senior Fellow at The George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership. This was preceded by five years as chair/executive coach for Vistage International, the largest global CEO peer advisory organization, where she facilitated groups of CEOs and senior leaders. Recently returning from her second speaking tour in Japan under the sponsorship of the U.S. Embassy, Leslie keynoted and lead roundtable discussions with women entrepreneurs and executives about the actions of successful leaders. Leslie emcees the annual Impact Leadership 21 Conference at the United Nations in addition to her role as Advisor on Women’s Issues.  She is an executive leadership coach, working with clients privately and facilitating Mastermind groups for women leaders. She speaks, facilitates and informs male and female leaders on becoming aware of their unique styles, how to be more effective together, and opening the lines of communication and collaboration. In 2019 she presented “Courageous Conversations between Men and Women” at SHRM, New York City. 

Prior to starting Leslie Grossman Leadership, a coaching and training company, she co-founded the Women’s Leadership Exchange (WLE). WLE provided the knowledge, tools and connections to support  women  to lead and grow multi-million dollar businesses.  WLE produced 85 conferences throughout the U.S., attended by 65,000 women from 2002- 2011. Previously Leslie was CEO of NYC-based PR/marketing firm, Communications/Marketing Action, and was active in many professional associations including as President of NAWBO-NYC. 

Leslie has written two books:  Link Out: How to Turn Your Network into a Chain of Lasting Connections (Wiley) and Sellsation! How Companies Can Capture Today’s Hottest Market: Women Business Owners and Executives (WPE Press). Based in New York City, Leslie graduated from The George Washington University, B.A. Psychology/Business; attended New York University graduate school for Counselor Education.  She is certified as an executive coach by Vistage International and certified in Emotional Intelligence (EQ-I 2.0). Leslie is a wife, mother and grandmother. Learn more about Leslie at lesliegrossmanleadership.com.


Deanna Brown, Founder: ShineOn Global and Senior Consultant with K2OHSolutions

In the Business World:  Transformative Leader | Builder of Dynamic Teams | Innovative Disruptor

In Life: Slightly Geeky Executive | Best Friend to Amazing Women | Lucky Mom and Wife | Faux Chef | Hiker | World Traveler & Insatiable Learner of All Things Cool

My vision is a world where business has a genuine commitment for the people served. In a society where we have unprecedented connection at the speed of light, it’s more crucial than ever to embed the traditions and values that still serve well. Honesty. Dedication. Follow-through. Doing the homework and knowing the territory. These never go out of style. Reaching for excellence through fresh ideas and organizational energy. My purpose? Inspiring others to transform and succeed. Creating innovative solutions that add value to the world around us. Lifting each other to new levels of “better”. It’s how life should be lived and business conducted.With a background in foundational business growth, leadership development, strategic consulting and team building, I’ve focused those skills within organizations that grew from the first dedicated handful of professionals to highly profitable organizations serving and supporting hundreds of team members. Combining the industries of medicine, real estate and computer software has allowed me to develop multiple lenses and insights to serve organizations at all levels. From the groundwork of needs and ideas, to the nitty-gritty of the processes to move everyone forward, I’m there creating strategies, solutions, and unifying teams with the vision that drives it all.


Kathy Opp, President,  K2OHSolutions, LLC

Kathy is a seasoned business executive providing strategic planning and process improvement services, organizational culture assessment and change management, facilitation, as well as leadership, management, and team coaching.

Kathy is the former president and executive director of the Western States Land Commissioners Association, an organization of 23 western states and industry affiliates who manage over 515 million acres of school trust lands for the benefit of funding public education in the respective states.

Over the past 30 years, she gained significant experience in state government as a commissioned bank examiner, a financial officer, a division administrator and as a Deputy Director for the Idaho Department of Lands. She also worked for five years with Boise Cascade Corporation, a Fortune 500 timber and wood products company. She held several positions in the Timber & Wood Products division, including Senior Planning Associate and Business Unit Controller, and served on several new manufacturing plant startup teams in the U.S. and abroad.

Kathy holds the following professional credentials:

  • Accredited by Human Synergistics in the administration and interpretation of the Organizational Culture Inventory® (OCI®), the Organizational Effectiveness Inventory®(OEI®), Leadership Impact® (L/I) and Management Impact® (M/I).
  • Certified Strategic Doing™ practitioner
  • Certified team coach using Team Alchemy©
  • Certified administrator of the EQ-i 2.0 and EQ 360 products.
  • Trained practitioner of the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas by Strategyzer

Kathy was born and raised in the San Francisco bay area and relocated to Boise, Idaho in 1984. When not serving clients, she likes to travel the globe, cook, ride bicycles and spend time with family. She is a RYT 500-hour certified yoga instructor and continues to teach her yin yoga practice on Monday nights when in Boise.


Charlotte Hyams Porter, Senior Liaison for Regional Engagement and Field Operations at FEMA Headquarters, Washington, DC

In this role, she is responsible for internal and external communications, serving as the principal advisor on national preparedness to FEMA’s regional partners, and developing a prepared workforce for the National Preparedness Directorate (NPD). Building on a successful history of stakeholder engagement and disaster response, Ms. Porter is creating a streamlined and coordinated engagement strategy across multiple FEMA components to achieve improved alignment, efficiency, and transparency among FEMA’s internal and external partners, before, during, and after disasters.

In September 2018, Ms. Porter was deployed as the Director of FEMA’s Hub of Philanthropic Engagement – Puerto Rico for eight months. This innovative initiative was part of FEMA’s overall
recovery support to the government and people of Puerto Rico, following the catastrophic hurricane season of 2017. The Hub served as a bridge between philanthropy and Puerto Rico’s
recovery needs and fomented a more robust nonprofit sector through resource identification, facilitation, and training. While in this role, Ms. Porter built a first-of-its kind functional
organization and program, including the development of processes and procedures in accordance with Agency regulations, identification of and engagement with new FEMA partners and
stakeholders, and the establishment of a team of experienced project specialists to map recovery needs and research funding resources and opportunities.

From November 2015 to May 2019, Ms. Porter served as the Deputy Director of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD) where she led a team that developed
research-based tools and programs to build and maintain individual and community preparedness capabilities resulting in a more prepared and resilient Nation. Under Ms. Porter’s direction, ICPD implemented numerous strategies to help foster local, state, regional and national preparedness by cultivating partnerships and networks, and supporting local initiatives related to disaster

Prior to this position, Ms. Porter was the Director of the Office of the National Advisory Council (NAC) at FEMA headquarters where she provided strategic direction and guidance to the NAC on
emergency management policies and programs. Ms. Porter started her career at FEMA in 2010 as the Senior Advisor to the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, where she coordinated Agency
engagement with state, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders and the nonprofit organizations that represent them. In this role, Ms. Porter established relationships with elected and appointed
officials and constituency groups, facilitating dialogue on emerging issues, providing technical assistance, and communicating critical information.


Joan Wangler, ICF Master Certified Coach , President, EDIN (Each Day Is New) Associates, Senior Leadership Coach and Faculty Member at The George Washington Center for Excellence in Public Leadership  

I’m a senior leadership coach known for holistic leadership coaching, a process of working with people that leaves them feeling more competent and fulfilled so that they can make a better contribution to their organization and find meaning in what they are doing. Some clients call me a “dream catcher.”

My passion is launching and facilitating leadership communities of practice such as the Creative Learning Group (CLG) initiative with leaders at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Goddard Civility Collaborative. The primary focus of these communities is on building and sustaining emotionally intelligent, innovative coaching and mentoring organizational cultures to deliver outstanding results.

I coach senior leaders facing complex personal and organizational transition challenges with great heart, wisdom and innovative thinking.I was one of the original designers of NASA’s award-winning Leadership Alchemy program and co-created theEnvironmental Protection Agency’s Transformational Leadership Conversations, an organization-wide community of practice promoting leadership conversations that inspire hope, possibilities, and action at all levels.

My education includes:

Masters in Education, University of Massachusetts; Masters of Science, State University of New York at Albany

Master Certified Coach, International Coach Federation; Certified Professional Effectiveness Coach by New Ventures West

Certifications in The Leadership Circle 360, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Conversational Intelligence and William Bridges Transition Management


Bryn Biren

Bryn Biren was born and raised in Staten Island, NY.   She graduated from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and earned a Master’s degree at Richmond College. She was an elementary school teacher for 34 years, serving as the Project Arts coordinator for her school.

Bryn and her husband, Richard ( a retired administrative law judge) are the parents of two children and have five grandchildren.

She has spent her life involved in community activities. Bryn has served as the past President of Temple Israel and has been on its Board of Trustees since 1989. She has been on the Board of Trustees of the JCC of Staten Island for 25 years. In addition she is involved in the HIllel of the College of Staten Island, Project Hospitality, the UJA, and is currently a Trustee and coordinator of the Dr. Ronald Avis Foundation at Temple Israel.

In her spare time she loves designing and making beaded jewelry, doing wirebending, taking yoga and Pilates classes, and “Helping people to find solutions to their problems”.


Ann Korando

Ann Korando is a highly accomplished non-profit professional and one of the country’s leading fundraisers for science, technology, engineering and math education. Korando founded BBFK, LLC, a private consulting practice focused on providing corporations, foundations and government agencies strategic guidance on fundraising strategies, public relations and program development. Her work includes helping organizations raise money for existing programs, as well as designing and implementing new signature educational programs for corporations and non-profits in STEM education.  Over the past 25 years, Ann has raised over $200 million for the different partnerships.  Previously, Korando was CEO of EarthEcho, a non-profit dedicated to the legacy of Jacques Cousteau; Senior Director of Development for NSTA, a national organization of science teachers and Director of Development, Public Relations and Events at Science Service, an organization dedicated to increasing the public’s understanding of Science through publications and competitions. In this role, she secured Intel as title sponsor for both the Science Talent Search and the International Science and Engineering Fair and helped create and design the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge. Ann is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, Nashville Tennessee and holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Executive Non Profit Management Certificate from Georgetown University, Washington, DC.


Fay Shapiro, CEO and Publisher, CommPRO Global, Inc., BitAngels Investor Network – New York City Leader

Fay Shapiro is founding member and publisher of CommPRO.biz. Her passion is achieving ROI for both clients and colleagues by delivering business-building results for professionals working in public relations, investor relations and marketing communications. Fay grew up in the world of communications, learning the ropes as editorial director at Bacon’s Information (now Cision), and then venturing into the publishing world with Oxbridge Communications, BurrellesLuce, O’Dwyer’s, and Bulldog Reporter. Founded in 2010, CommPRO.biz is today a global community of influencers involved in all aspects of the communication field, and media hub for the industry.

Fay is also active in the blockchain ecosystem through her role as city leader for the BitAngels Investor Network. The brainchild of industry leaders Michael Terpin and David Johnston in 2013, BitAngels has grown from being the world’s first angel network for digital currency startups to the largest. BitAngels is an open, thriving community of skilled blockchain professionals, companies, developers, and others, with local events in key cities to create growth and connectivity in the blockchain space and with online communication and collaboration.




  1. Bryn Biren on at 2:53 PM

    WOW! I am so impressed.
    I can’t wait to hear what these women have to say!!!!

  2. Michelle Patterson on at 3:49 AM

    I love these women! True sisters in every sense of the word. Miss you Ladies! Janet can’t wait to catch up!

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